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tv   Smerconish  CNN  February 24, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST

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and prepared to mitigate that emergency for all concerned. the things we do every single day that puts ourselves in harm's way, and to have a partner that is so skilled at what they do is indispensable, and i couldn't ask for a better partner. i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. last week as others focused on
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gun policy, i suggested here a corresponding cause for our national tragedy. and today in light of new information, let me say it flat out. the florida school shooting was an epic intelligence failure. it should have been stopped. it never should have happened. in this technological world of apple and google, facebook and amazon, better management of data by law enforcement needs to keep us safe from mass killings. and better integration of that which was in a variety of databases should have kept us safe from this guy. i hate to say his name, but i need to in order to make my points. nikolas cruz was not living off the grid like the unabomber ted kaczynski. he was totally plugged in. to his community, to law enforcement. and to social media. there was a staggering amount of seemingly searchable information
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3r5 predicting his future path. consider just some of the electronic bread crumbs. the broward county sheriff's office received 23 calls about this one guy over ten years. starting when cruz was just nine. that data was all recorded. since 20 on 10, law enforcement had to respond to his house 39 times. or in a classmate's words, almost every other week. and again, records were kept. the most serious warnings started in february of 2016 when an anonymous caller alerted police that the killerragram to shoot up the school and cruz posted pictures of himself with a gun. another electronic marker. seven months later, a pier counselor reported that the killer possibly ingested gasoline, wanted to buy a gun and attempted to commit suicide by cutting himself. days later an investigator for florida's department of children and families ruled him a low
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risk. still dcf had a thick file on this guy. that is more data which could have been integrated. and later that month, the family that initially took the killer in after his mother's death called police to report a fight. >> 911, how can i help you? >> there was a fight in my house. between a kid and my son. >> okay. >> he left the house but i'm afraid he is coming back and he has a lot of weapons. >> what kind of weapons, ma'am? >> i need to ask. what kind of weapon did he get, that he is going to get is? a remington. >> beiokay. and who did this? >> nikolas cruz. this is not the first time he's put a gun to somebody's head. >> there is more. the family also revealing this disturbing detail.
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>> he knows he is not lowered to bring it here. he was going to behaviorury the. >> next day a tipster called the sheriff's office telling them he will kill himself and could be a school shooter in the making. cruz posted comments like i want to die fighting and i want to shoot people with my ar-15, yet more electronic footprints. and then there was his behavior at school. according to the miami "herald," teachers said he kicked door, he cursed at teachers, that he fought with and threatened classmates and brought a backpack with bullets to school. more markers. student samantha fuentes who was injured in the shooting said students used to joke about cruz being the next school shooter. also reports that an investigator with florida's department of children and families had previously warned
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the state of cruz's intentions to buy a gun after his 18th birthday. and asar-15. the transaction was perfectly legal, but you'd think that a background check should be able to detect all these prior warnings. last september, a mississippi bail bonds man flagged for the fbi a youtube comment from a nikolas cruz saying i'm going to be a professional school shooter. the "washington post" reported that a nexus search revealed only 22 so named swridindividua. that is another searchable database. and still they didn't stop him. finally the fbi admits that they failed to act on a january 5 phone call in which according to the transcript yet another unidentified caller said she feared cruz was about to explode and was capable of, quote, getting into a school and just
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shooting the place up. i just want to get it off my chest in case something does happen and i do believe something's going to happen. after receiving that call, an fbi employee discussed the it inwith hin wi tip with her supervisor and conclude the there was no imminent threat. the case was closed within an hour. the information was never passed on to the miami field office. and this is not even a full accounting that i'm giving you. it is inexcusable that all this. i get there are civil liberties. but protection of americans demands better data management. when any of us makes a rudimentary amazon or google search, we trigger all sorts of algorithms that make it hard to
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evaried commercial suitors. why shouldn't law enforcement have the same tools at their disposal? we were a key stroke away from catching this guy. instead 17 are dead. it is time to work smarter, not harder. i want to know what you think. go to, answer this question. the florida school shooting was more a failure of data integration or gun policy? i'll give you results later in the show. now, with all those missed signals, sources are the telling cnn it wasn't only broward county sheriff deputy scot peterson who had not entered the building as the shooting was unfooleding. three other deputies were also outside the school shielded by their cars and had not rushed in by the time that other on officers arrived. joining me now is a criminal justice professor and executive director of the advanced law
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enforcement rapid response training center at texas state university. dr. blair, you know these men are essentially being challenged and accused of ycowardiccowardi. is there any benign explanation? >> i always try to give officers on the scene the benefit of the doubt. we are not there. we don't see what they see. and we really want to give them that benefit of the doubt and we still don't have all the information in. occasionally there could be a situation when an officer may choose not to enter right away if the next oifrn is only a few seconds behind and two of them can enter as opposed to one. but in general, i swrnts sent h anything that tells me why they wouldn't have entered. >> might it be that scot peterson knew he was outgunned, that he had an ar-15, that he could hear the type of weapon write and he had a simple
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handgun? >> he would be at as today advantage facing it with a hand gun, but not as much as the people who are inside the building that are completely unarmed. he is there with a gun. he has body armor and training. >> so i keep reading this week as i try and become more knowledgeable about appropriate police response, in fact i'll put the "new york times" up as an example of what i'm about to say, the shooting at columbine high school in 1999 fundamentally changed police protocol amid fears that a gunman equipped with semi automatic weapons would be capable of killing dozens in a matter of seconds. officers now are stocked with appli supplies and trained to seek gunmen urgently even if they have no backup or only limited information. does that represent the current protocol for law enforcement? >> yes, it does. when we teach police officers to respond to these events, we teach them the first thing they should do on scene is stop the killing.
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so if you see kids coming out screaming, you matter gunfire, you want to proceed directly toward that attacker and try to stop them from shooting anybody else. >> so the fact there was a deputy on premise with a firearm who didn't go in, does that mitigate against the argument that we should be arming school personnel? >> i don't know that necessarily directly relates to the school personnel argument. i'd be interested to see if officer what kind training he had had, when the last time was that he had training. and try to find out from his point of view why he chose not to go in. >> i want to switch gears. i want to talk not about law enforcement, i want to talk about the citizenry. god forbid any of us should find ourselves in an active shooting situation. the wordser ke ei keep hearing run, are hide, fight. what is your mantra? >> we say avoid, deny, defend. we want action words in there that people are doing things.
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>> meaning what? >> so meaning that we want you to first start by avoiding the attacker if that is possible. get away from the person who is trying to kill you. if for some reason you skptd, you are in a classroom, you hear gun fire in the hallway, you are worried you might be shot, best next option is deny access to your location, close, locked door, barricade it. that sort of thing. and as last resort if you end up in close proximity to that person, next best thing is to defend yourself. that person is trying to murder you, you should not let them do that easily. >> let me ask some practical questions. use the he will swrat tore or don't? >> you don't want to be trapped in a box that doesn't give you options of where you can go an what you can do. >> full the fire alarm, don't pull the fire alarm? >> i would say don't pull the fire alarm particularly in a case where apply the school had
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a fire drill earlier in the day. you don't want everybody to spill out into the hallways where the shooter might be. so you don't want to pull it. >> play dead, don't play dead? i'm not a fan of playing dead. there could be situations where playing dead might work momentarily, but what we see again and again in these situations is the shooter comes in, they shoot the people who are up and once the people who are up are down, they shoot the people who are down to make sure they are dead. so we commonly see people who are playing dead get shot while they are playering dead. >> use the cellphone, don't use the cellphone? >> you can use the cellphone, but i wouldn't use it until you're out of the danger area. so the most important thing is that you start taking actions to protect yourself immediately. once you've gotten yourself out of immediate harm's way, then you can get on the phone and notify police and authorities. and you don't want to stay on the phone doing social media. you want to keep your head in what is happening here and paying attention to what is happening here as opposed to being distracted by something
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else. >> and from a defense standpoint, i've period you say it before, through any means necessary. dr. blair, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. what do you think? go to, answer poll question. results later this hour. the florida school shooting was more -- i think it is both. i'm asking you which was it more? a failure of data integration or gun policy? what are your thoughts? tweet me, go to my facebook page. i'll read some throughout the course of the program. i'm fired up today as you can tell. really angry about this issue. not sure, what if the fbi or local law enforcement had gone in and seized his guns? what would have been the due process considerations, the political ramifications? what about the civil liberties of the family that took them? is? what about a complaint to making terroristic threats that would warrant a full scale investigation that would tie together all the data that i referenced in my opening comment taker? that is what i'm advocating.
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this is not a guy who should have had access to weaponry.hat. this is not a guy who should have had access to weaponry. it is unclusable. a inexcusable. i don't think law enforcement has the tools. we give them all the weaponry from iraq and afghanistan. we give them the mraps. we need to give them searchable data. up ahead, fear and loathing on both sides. could the gun debate tear this country apart? join the un-carrier right now, and get four unlimited lines for only thirty-five bucks each. woah. plus, netflix for the whole family. on us. prrrrrrr... so, they get their shows... let's go, girl! you're gonna love this bit! and you get yours. watch however you want. on your phone, tablet, or tv. for a limited time, get 4 lines for just thirty-five bucks per line, with no extra charges. it's showtime! all on america's best unlimited network, t-mobile.
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there are angry words being thrown around in the wake of the shooting at stoneman douglas. dana lash said this in a speech at cpac. >> many in legacy media love mass shootings. you guys love it. now, i'm not saying that you 4r love the tragedy. but i am saying that you love the ratings. crying white mothers are ratings gold. >> on friday liberal michael
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moore tweeted this, the nra is a terrorist organization. the media should speak to the n rachlt in the sa ra in the same way as they do isaiah. we' isis. we've had 1.2 million gun deaths since john lennon was shot dead. fr could it sever the ties that unite us as a nation? his most recent piece called the gun control debate could break america. david, i find each that we just showed rep plhelp pre-henceable. >> absolutely. we've seen it on both sides since parkland. we've seen people telling americans who support gun rights that they have blood on their hands when they are desperate to stop school shootings, too. they have different ideas for how to do it, but they are
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called murderers and then we see the rhetoric that says that the mainstream media loves mass killings when we know that is not the case. and we've seen people mocking the kids who are the survivors of the parkland massacre, accusing them of being plants and trolls and paid actors. so what you are seeing is this unbelievably vicious rhetoric and it is injected into a political environment that is already toxic. it is not like we had a healthy political discourse in this country before this occurred. but now it is being escalatedlad death issue. and it is putting strains on the system. >> and how far do you fear those stwrans might take us? >> well, you know, it really depends on what happens next. this is a news cycle that is persisting for a lot of very
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important reasons day after day. we're heading into an off year election cycle, into an election cycle where you will have more rhetoric around this issue and around other issues. and again, we cannot divorce this from the overall context. and we can't divorce it from other trends such as the fact that we tend to live more in like minded enclaves than we have in recent memory. so that we tend to live and work and live our lives with people who agree with us. which means that we have less capacity to understand others. and again, all of this is pulling at the fabric of this country, pulling and tugging and pulling, and you can't keep doing that forever. >> i give senator rubio credit for going into the lion's den for appearing at that cnn town hall meeting. shear a snippet of what transpir transpired. >> your comments this week and those of our president have been pathetically weak.
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>> i'll repeat what i said. and what i said, and then i'll tell you what we're going to do -- >> how does that fit into your analysis, how is that indicative of what you see going on out there? >> and let's keep in mind that was one of the more civil moments. we had one of the kids from parkland comparing him, marco rubio, to the shooter himself. i mean, we had people shouting at dana lash that she was a murderer. so what that tells me is that there is this very deep rage, this very deep rage. and some of those things are just unacceptable to say. even if you are very angry, you still have moral responsibilities to treat other people with decidiignity and re.
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and i guarantee you there are millions of americans who agree with marco rubio who are seeing him treated in that way and they are getting angry and they are getting concerned. and when you hear wild cheering for things like banning all semi automatic rifles in the united states, that begins to tip the balance again from a standpoint on of i'm open minded to discussing creative solutions to, oh, you're against me. the agenda here is confiscation. and the polarization just keeps continuing. we're not in a mode of persuasion anymore. we're in a mode of mobilization and that creates increased tension. >> what frustrates me is in a so many are speaking past one another. in an opening commentary that i delivered here, i think there is something very reasonable oh, out there that we all should be able to agree on and that is a better system of data intake a grace to prevent guys like this from getting access to weaponry
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grace to prevent guys like this from getting access to weaponry. >> right. and i've been advocating a gun violence restraining order that some states are experimenting with. and under a gun violence restraining order, a person close to a troubled individual can come forward to a local court with evidence that this person is a danger to themselves or others and they can secure a temporary order allowing the sheriff or police department to seize that person's weapons. and that is a situation under the fact of this case a gun violence restraining order could have been very useful. so there are solutions that people are talking about. and there are some things that can be done in the short term to address this contagion of mass killings. but it is getting lost in the overall tribal conflict. >> no doubt. david, than you so much. i appreciate what you wrote. >> thanks for having me.k you s. i appreciate what you wrote. >> thanks for having me. are you answering this question? the florida school shooting was moor, because i think it was
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boot both, a fail you're data integration or gun policy? let's see what you're saying. we are very divided on social media fp when you go to do your kids' soccer games, we are unified unless someone brings up politics. yeah, it is true. and you've heard me say before never before have we been afforded so much choice in the number of television channels you could be watching right now or radio with both satellite radio and ter recent shal radio and the internet and so few of us seem to exercise that choice. you have to turn the dial. but not now. up ahead, you may know her from the tiger mother debate, and now amy is taking on political tribes in america. ong deploymen. i'm really grateful that usaa was able to take care of my family while i was overseas serving. it was my very first car accident. we were hit from behind.
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identity politics have seize the t ed the american left and right. the only thing that unites us is that we all feel threatened. so how do we rediscover a national identity that transcends our political tribes? amy chew u ew chua addresses t brand new book. amy, nice to have you back. here are the very first words in your book. humans are tribal. we need to belong to groups. we crave bonds and attachments which is why we love clubs, teams, fraternities and family. almost no one is a hermit even monks belong to orders.
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but it is not just an instinct to belong, it is also an instinct to exclude. i think you explain donald trump's political rise. is that fair? >> yes, so first of all, we have to realize that it is biological. human beings are fry balantriba. once we connect to a group, we want to cling to it and defend it no matter what. just think of how you feel about your favorite sports team. you don't care what anybody says about that. and president trump has done a great job actually presenting himself and relating to people as kind of a part of a cultural tribe. he's really tapped into a lot of people who feel like they talk like him, they get blamed for not being politically correct like him, they eat mcdonald's like him. and every time he gets in trouble and a lot of elites think, oh, now that will bring him down, they feel like you know what, he is our guy.
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he mayor be awful, but he is our awful and we'll stand by him which is why you see his ratings stand pretty strong despite what seems like scandal after scandal. >> you know, michael wolf's book "fire and fury" got so much attention and there was an anecdote that you made me think of where donald trump not yet president is asked by a foreign model what is white trash and he said people like me only i've got money. >> yes, but that didn't seem to really offend people. the problem is that i think that elites in this country don't really understand the rest of the country very well. and going back to your previous segment, the problem is that we are so divided right now, we have these terrible problems that we need to address. you have these great facts that you are bringing out. nothing is going to happen. w why? because as soon as a tragedy
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happens, people will instantly go into their tribes and they will start demonizing the other side and the kind of trump/anti-trump thing. the same thing is happening. people are -- it's almost like you view people on the other side as not americans anymore. and it used to be that people we disagreed with, we could fight with them, you'd have arguments, but they were still americans. at this point it is almost like people on the other side of the political divide are enemies, killers, immoral people. and i've been studying democracies around the world for 20 years. and the problem is that we are now starting to see the united states dynamics that we thought were really just more like developing country dynamics. so the stakes are very high and i think we all need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. >> and the book is not just about tribalism in a domestic sense. as a matter of fact, most of your -- maeny of your sale yebt
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points are discussions of what has blinded us from a foreign policy standpoint. offer the cliff notes version of that. >> the united states, we have had such success with assimilating our people. germans, irish, italians, they all became americans. so when we go in a countrylike iraq, we think democracy is the great panacea. we think kurds, sunnis, let have elections and they will all come together. big mistake. so i argue in the book that our blindness, our failure to take seriously the importance of the group identities that matter most to people on the ground in the countries we're supposedly trying for help are blind to these i hdentities and explains some of our greatest foreign policy disasters going back to vietnam, to afghanistan, to iraq, to venezuela.
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>> we've been able to regard ourselves as americans first. we go into these countries thinking in the end they are all iraqis, but they are not. they are sunnis, kurds. are we at risk in the united states given the massive demographic shift now under way of losing that super group status as you put it in the book? >> this is the most important thing. america has always been special in this important sense. we are a country with a very strong overarching national identity. americans. but at the same time, we've always allowed subgroup identities to flower rish. you know, irish american, croatian american, italian american. this is a country where you can be japanese american and intensely patriotic at the same time. what distinct distinguishes us from iraq are our strong overarching identity. and right nowct distinguishes u from iraq are our strong overarching identity. and right now that is under
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threat and it is coming from both sides. we're constantly trying to finger point and say no, it is their point. but i think both sides are contributing to this breakdown. what we need to get -- we need to get twook whback to what mak special which is to allow individual identities to flourish. even in the gun control debate. different ethnic, racial identities, but we can't lose what connects us all as americans. otherwise we will go the way of libya. they are a multiethnic nation. why is that country now a failed nature because that overarching libyan identity was too weak. it was a la loanial construction, it didn't mean anything. and we're not like that. we have always had -- it is baked into our constitution. we have an ethnically and religiously neutral national identity. anybody who shares our values can be an american and i with just have to get back to what made this country great. >> i'm worried as i read your
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book, i'm very concerned. let's bring back civics in high school curriculum. that could be a starting point. maintain those bonds that hold us together. amy, again, you've done it. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. up ahead, should a t-shirt keep you out of the voting booth? spree supreme court may decide it is improper political speech. everyone has a thing. that binge watch over the weekend thing. more checking in.. or checking out things.
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this is a case that pits free speech rights against a right to vote without interference or distraction. the case involves a minnesota law that proceed behinceehibits wear political items to the polls. minnesota voter andy selig was temporarily prevented from voting when he showed up wearing a don't tread on me tea party t shirts and a button that said please i.d. me. he says the law forces voters to choose between their right to free speech and their right to vote. he joins me know. he is director of a nonpartisan organization. andy, what happened, walk us through it briefly. >> thank you for having me. back on election day in 2010, i
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went to vote at my local polling place, a church, and i was wearing at take time a t-shirt that said the words tea party patriots. and it said don't tread on me underneath that. and i went in by myself to vote peacefully and i was asked by the head election judge almost immediately that i needed to either remove my t-shirt or i needed to exit the polling place. >> do you have the shirt and if so can you hold it up? >> i do. i brought it with me here. this is the shirt that i was wearing on election day in 2010. >> sue, minnesota is not unique in this regard. >> no, they there are nine other states that have a similar overbroad ban just like minnesota does. >> and the argument is the state would say we need this for order. we want people to vote, there to be a nice semblance, a nice
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process, and most importantly not intimidation. i know you don't agree with it, sue, but is that at least the logic of it? >> yes, and of course we want order at the polling place. the only disorder that we're seeing at the polling place is the election judges calling out people and saying wait a minute, what you are wearing doesn't meet the criteria to be allowed to vote. >> andy, i know you also had a button please i.d. me. i understand that you are a proponent of the need for voter identification. the trial judge said that that perhaps was intimidation of people, they might think, uh-oh, i'm going to be subject to an identification if i gop d vote. you don't buy that logic i know. >> right. no, i don't buy that logic. but the point is that on election day when i was turned away from voting, i was turned away for one reason. and that is because my t-shirt said tea party patriots. it had nothing to do with any
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buttons that i had on or didn't have on. >> it had nothing to do with a candidate, it had nothing to do with an election issue. that is the important part of this case. >> and fair to say it is not that you were singled out for a conservative ideology or even a liberal ideology, but rather that it was politics or ideology of any kind. >> that is a great question. and it is really hard to tell. i think it comes down to one of three reasons. either the election judge felt like they had to be the arbiters of free speech or they felt offended by my t-shirt, or they took advantage of the overbroad statute and they were politically motivated to suppress my vote. >> and do you understand, michael, that in some cases, there were people -- there was a college student in colorado who was wearing an m.i.t. shirt and he was turned away because they thought that the m.i.t. stood
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for mitt romney. and there was someone in texas who had an alaska souvenir t-shirt on and she was turned away because she thought that she was supporting sarah palin. it is an election judge with an arbitrary -- any discretion an election judge can turn you away. >> by the same token -- look, i'm on your side of this. i think it is ridiculous to have let's call it a dress code for voting. we need more people voting in this country. i think the number is like 44% of those eligible didn't vote in the last election. can you imagine? but here is something that i believe does have merit and i offer this from my days as a an assistant republican committee man when i was 18 years old. the court has in the past embraced a barrier for election nearing. i think 100 feet from the polling place. that has merit.i think 100 feet polling place. that has merit.
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you don't want it too slow. but if they wear a shirt, let them vote. andy, you get the final word. >> right, most states have laws regarding campaign materials 100 feet from the polling place and inside the polls place. but what we're talking about here in our lawsuit, we're talking about political messaging that is not campaign related. in other words, it doesn't say vote for trump or vote for hillary. so anybody can be turned away. there was someone in texas turned away with a dallas cowboys shirt because there was a referendum on the ballot. personally as a minnesota vikings fan, i'm offended when i see somebody wearing a dallas cowboys shirt, but they certainly have everyone right to wear that shirt when they go for vote. >> on behalf the world champion philadelphia eagles, the cowboy voter i might have punted him too. i'm kidding. thank you. good luck. i appreciate you being here. >> thank you. still to come, your best and worst tweets and facebook comments. katherine, what have you got?
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went to vote one time and had a voter question whether our outdated bumper sticker was inappropriate as it sat in the parking lot. really? what difference does it make that the point? francis, god bless you for voting. let's get more people to do it if they are wearing a thong for crying out throughout. the final results on the survey. you can vote. florida school shooting, was it more -- again, i think it is both. but was it more a failure of data integrate or gun policy? .ae strength and energy in just two weeks! i'll take that. -yeeeeeah! ensure high protein. with 16 grams of protein and 4 grams of sugar. ensure. always be you. what's critical thinking like? a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers)
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all right. here we go. i don't know the outcome, how did you vote on the survey question? survey says, the florida school shooting was more a failure of data integration or gun policy? what do we got? show it to me. gun policy! 54%! 12,419 votes. look, the trial lawyer in me is bummed because in my opening commentary i said it's data integration. and i am -- i'm just fearful that we're going to argue until the cows come home about bump stocks and assault weapons and aids and that there won't be any mond monumental change and that the solution not to all of our problems but a step in the right direction. because i want those other things. but a step in the right direction staring us in the face is data integration. you know why i think that argument failed? maybe my arguing but also it's
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just not sexy. like it's sexy to say oh, get rid of assault style weapons. and then you got me coming along, you know, a bald man saying it's about data integration. but it is. all right. catherine, what do we got? damnit. you often lament about issues of division and then pose a black or white poll question such as this. am i dividing? i'm trying to unite us around something we should all agree on. this guy should have been caught. he should have been prevented from having a weapon. there was a plethora of information out there about him that good data integration would have caused him to be flagged. and stopped! next. what do we have? how is that devisive? i'm trying to bring about a solution. it was the guns, michael. stop the bs. i already addressed that. what's next? of course it's the guns.
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he shouldn't have been able to get a gun. all the data in the world integrated at your finger tips won't help if there are no laws or policies in place that let you act on the data. both are important but slight edge to gun policy. betsy, i respect that. i think that's a valid observation. let's do both. another one if we have time. i think we do. the facts that there was a massive failure by the police and fbi doesn't change the fact military tile weapons of war should not be on our streets. sm, i don't want military style weapons on my street. that's a given. now do you really think in a country with 300 guns out on the street already that we're getting rid of them? let me just talk turkey to you. we're not. we're not. so can we at least this time do something practical and better intergrate data and keep the next nikolas cruz away from a gun? that's what i'm trying to bring about. thank you. follow me on twitter and facebook and check out my website. i'll leave that poll question
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10:00 on a saturday. so glad to have you with us. i'm christi paul. >> and i'm victor blackwell. delta airlines is the latest company to cut ties with the nra. they will no longer offer fare discounts for nra members. >> they're joining a growing list of companies severing ties with the gun rights groups as the #boycottnra is gaining traction on twitter.